Granite Gear Receives Backpacker Editors' Choice Award

Granite Gear named Backpacker Magazine's 2011 Editors' Choice Award for their new ultralight Blaze AC 60 backpack. The industry’s most coveted award honors the best new gear and essentials for outdoor enthusiasts
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GRANITE GEAR NAMED BACKPACKER MAGAZINE’S 2011 EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD WINNER

The industry’s most coveted award honors the best new gear and essentials for outdoor enthusiasts

March 9, 2011 – The Granite Gear Blaze AC 60 pack has been honored as a recipient of a 2011 Backpacker magazine Editors’ Choice Award, the most prestigious award in the outdoor industry, given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and/or performance.

Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented Granite Gear, Two Harbors, MN with the award at the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, January 20th.

The Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards, bestowed annually since 1993, honor the products that Backpacker editors have chosen as the best of the year based on months of trail testing by teams of highly experienced hikers and climbers. With no set categories for the awards and no set number of recipients, the products and the testing process drive the award categories.

The Granite Gear Blaze AC 60 was one of only 13 innovative products that have been honored with a 2011 Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award. In 2004, Granite Gear won two Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards for the Vapor Trail and Nimbus Ozone backpacks.

"BACKPACKER gear reviews have many imitators, a few competitors, and no equals," said Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn. "That's because no other magazine or website conducts in-depth field-testing as vigorously or impartially as the crew led by Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter. With a core team that has several centuries of combined trail time, along with first descents, decades of retail experience, and expertise in every backcountry discipline, Kristin puts new products through an unprecedented level of real-world abuse in every terrain and weather imaginable. She also oversees a transparent process that has earned an unrivaled amount of trust from readers, retailers, and manufacturers. The results are reviews that lead consumers to smart, durable products that consistently prove their worth with years of best-in-class performance."

Dan Cruikshank, Granite Gear Co-Founder, remarked, “We’re extremely proud to receive this recognition from Backpacker. It validates our philosophy of continual innovation, and our focus of how well our products perform, not just how easy they are to market. It’s especially significant to receive this award as we celebrate our 25th anniversary as a company”.

The Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards are the gold standard against which all outdoor products are measured, and are a seal of approval that can help put an outdoor company or product on the proverbial map. Each year at the Outdoor Retailer show, retail buyers use the awards announcements as a must-buy shopping list, knowing that their customers will be asking for these products in the spring.

Since their inception, the Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards have come to be regarded as the most sought-after award for outdoor equipment and apparel found in the industry. The impeccable outdoor credentials and rigorous field-testing standards of the Backpacker staff guarantee that these awards are an undisputed mark of quality for the companies and products selected.

All winners must excel under extensive field-testing conducted by Backpacker’s team of editors, who take hundreds of new products every year into the backcountry to put them to the test. This rigorous process ensures that the performance of the winners is truly worthy of distinction and meets the guiding principle behind the program: gear that is of real value to the readers of Backpacker magazine, who are very active, long-term outdoor enthusiasts.

The complete list of Backpacker 2011 Editors’ Choice Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine’s April Gear Guide issue, on newsstands March 9, 2011.

For 25 years Granite Gear has been supplying the outdoor marketplace with innovative products, designed and manufactured to stand up the rigors of backcountry use.

About Backpacker:

Backpacker (www.backpacker.com) brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine and website, and the only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured. And the magazine recently launched mobile media applications that allow users to text-message hiking maps and directions to their phones. In the last four years, Backpacker has won five National Magazine Awards, the publishing industry’s highest honor. In 2008, the magazine won the NMA for General Excellence, joining The New Yorker, Mother Jones, GQ, and National Geographic as top winners in their respective size categories. In 2009, it won three awards, including General Excellence Online. Backpacker has also won numerous other print, design, and digital awards, and its writers have been recognized in prestigious contests and best-of-the-year anthologies.


CONTACT: Andrea Neukom aneukom@aimmedia.com

303.625.1615

Linda Nervick linda@granitegear.com

218.310.6838

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